It will be beside the house sometime today. It will pass through, hauling slime and muck and rubbish and dead things up out of the ditch and slinging it down into the grasses where the pheasants are nesting and all manner of other creatures live. Where I work. It will be a big heaving stinking mess. He rips out all the trees in his way and will destroy our pathway along the bank.
All along the bank that we see in the background here he will dump the filth in great uneven bucketfuls. He is aimed straight for the beavers damn of course. There is nothing like a natural made blockage to raise the ire of the farmers here.
I am going to lay in wait for him today and try to get the driver to come down out of his stronghold up there and talk to me. I am going to gently ask him to please avoid yanking out all my trees. Not throw shit on top of the Fellowship forest. Try to avoid the asparagus. And why not a truck to take this crap away. People throw bags of trash into the ditch from the bridge – all that will be brought up and dumped in my backyard. And I am going to ask him if he can not wreck the path that I walk when I go to the other barn every day. Sadly, I will have lost the moment I open my mouth.
Knowing all this, I sat and watched him for a long time yesterday trying to put a positive spin in this. Trying to say – Excellent here is the problem – what shall I do. It is true that the water will move faster for the farmers who want their land to drain better. The Fellowship Forest is still just far enough away to survive I think and all the trees have very obvious guards on them. But losing the bigger wild trees and the milk weed is awful.
Thankfully the trees that survived the fire last spring are on the other side – so as long as he does not turn around and go back the other way – one whole side will be ok. This is good. Just not the house side sadly.
Then a really positive thing came to me. Last year one of the fellowship and frequent commenter, Pat Rousseau, donated a considerable sum for wild flowers along the bank. I had another patch picked out and was going to sow the seeds next week. But now I think I will try and work with the dense tailings. Once it is dry I will go through and pick out all the rubbish, then till it, then sow her wild flowers into this stretch behind the house.
Maybe this is a way to make a little lemonade from these lemons.
At the same time I am going to plant more native fruit trees into this space to replace the ones they have yanked out of the bank. Don’t they know that trees and their roots are imperative to movement of water and drainage AND hold the bank up – then there would be no need for a digger to keep digging it back out. River banks in nature are lined in trees. Wild flowers for the bees and birds and butterflies – these work together to form a critical component in a land mass ecosystem.
Anyway I cannot let myself focus on the destruction, I cannot stop them, I have to work with the mess, so my thought is that if I plant more trees and more flowers into the muck they leave behind; maybe when the ditch digger passes again ten years hence my forest will be so established they cannot bear to pull it down.
It will look like a bomb site for a long time though, and the nice walk to the other barn will be gone. I am never walking it again. I am not walking through rubble. We will walk the long way – around the road.
I thought we owned the land to the ditch, we do own it, but we own the land the digger wrecked two years ago when he dug out the ditch by the road and threw the tailings into my hay field and that did not stop them. Hugo and I spent weeks cleaning that up. They do not ask and do not care.
I am firmly told that I cannot stop them – it is the way things are done here. Makes me want to go home.
The beavers will hear him coming and escape – the men dug them out last summer and they returned so I have faith in the little animals to get clear. They will have plenty of warning. The digger is methodical and slow. But I mourn for them already for all the animals and birds affected.
Helplessness will follow me today.
But after the monster is gone I will come back out and begin again. The beavers and I.